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Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Christmas 2013

Here is a post made two years ago after Christmas.  I've made some slight changes and additions, however the message remains the same as when I wrote the post.  Merry Christmas to all and now off to wrap some presents (yes, I procrastinate too much!). 

Christmas Day has come and gone. (In another 24 hours)  The commercial onslaught by retailers both brick and mortar and online which began after Halloween (and on Thanksgiving Day) has subsided somewhat.  Now the push (will be) towards those after-Christmas and New Year's sales.  (Today, I spent some time running to get a few errands done and tonight my wife), Aimee made a delicious dinner after spending much of her day in the kitchen.  (Now, I'm happy all the children are secure in their bed and they are so excited to open their presents tomorrow from Santa Claus).

As they fell asleep with visions of sugarplums dancing in their head, I took the opportunity to clean the kitchen.  While cleaning, I tuned into New York's WQXR looking to listen to some holiday classical music.  Instead I was treated to an old fashioned radio play:  Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol.  The radio play starred F Murray Abraham as Scrooge. (I've included the 2013 version starring actor Tony Roberts as Scrooge, enjoy)

I listened to the performance and enjoyed it very much.   The conversion of Scrooge, with the help of Marley and the three spirits, from being an individual who is cold, closed off to others and lacking in spirit to being one that is kind towards others, generous with his wealth and grateful is worth examining within ourselves during this holiday season. 

Like Scrooge, there have been many occasions which I've felt Christmas is a humbug, an excuse to spend money for things not really needed but then I realize that the greatest gifts during this season aren't those my children (will be unwrapping) on Christmas morning.  No the best gifts this season include the time spent with family and friends, the generosity I can display to those in need, and the ability to keep that spirit up throughout the year ahead, which I will be the most challenging to maintain.
Like the changes in the character of Scrooge in Dickens' work, this year has shown great changes in the Catholic Church with the election of Pope Francis who almost immediately after his election has shunned the magisterial trappings of his predecessor and has maintained an accessibility and understanding of the plight of the poor, sick, and marginalized.  He is leading by example and an openness that is refreshing.  He was named Time magazine's Person of the Year for 2013.
Have a very Merry Christmas with your families.  May the beauty of the season live in you throughout the year.   




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